Accessing and Requesting Commercial Smallsat Data FAQ
- How can I become a NASA-funded researcher?
- Who classifies as a NASA-funded researcher?
- Who classifies as a U.S. Government-funded researcher?
- What commercial data are available for download?
- How do I get approved to access the commercial data?
- What is the process to access Planet’s PlanetScope and RapidEye data and is there an allocation?
- What is the process to access Planet SkySat data?
- What is the process to access Spire data?
- How can I find more information about Spire data in CSDA?
- What is the process to access Maxar data?
- What is the process to access DESIS data?
- How can I determine DESIS overpass/revisit opportunities for my area of interest (AOI)?
- Do I need permission to publish my work outside of NASA?
- What are the terms and conditions to use the data?
- How do I know if specific areas of interest to my study are already available for download through NASA?
- How do I request specific areas of interest to my study that are not available for download through NASA?
- If I am interested in tasking the DESIS instrument, how can I request that specific data be captured for download?
- What is NASA's plan for long-term preservation of the data?
To submit a research proposal to NASA, individuals and the organizations with which they are affiliated must be registered in NASA's Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). Individuals may register at any time. Organizations are required to have a valid registration with the System for Award Management before they can register in NSPIRES.
NASA-funded researchers are classified as a NASA employee, related entity, and/or authorized user.
Related entity: a contractor, subcontractor, partner, recipient or grantee of the U.S. Government assigned, tasked or contracted with, for, or on behalf of NASA to perform activities related to the data products that is subject to the same or more restrictive terms as expressed in the end-user license agreement.
Authorized user: “authorized user” means the number of users included in an applicable order under the prime contract, which user is an employee of licensee or a related entity that has been authorized by licensee to use the data.
U.S. Government-funded researchers are classified as a U.S. Government contractor, subcontractor, partner, recipient or grantee of the U.S. Government.
Currently, data acquired during the evaluations of Planet, Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe, Inc.) and Spire Global are available, as are data from the Teledyne Brown Engineering DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS). Data distributed by NASA are available under different scientific use licenses at various access portals.
All NASA-funded researchers will have access to commercial datasets from Planet, Maxar, and Spire. All members of the U.S. Government have access to DESIS data. All data requests must be approved by CSDA data managers. Contact us to provide your name, email address, and pertinent information (grant number, contract number, etc.) to indicate that you are authorized to use the data. The CSDA team will verify if the user is authorized for data access first. Once verified, the user will be provided with additional information on how to request and access data.
The process for requesting and obtaining PlanetScope and RapidEye data is as follows:
- User contacts CSDA and provides name, email address, and pertinent information (grant number, contract number, etc.) for data access approval
- CSDA will verify, notify Planet and initiate the creation of an account for the user
- Once the user receives notification of access, the user can search and browse Planet Explorer
- User will place a data request order
- A data download URL will be sent to the user via email or the user can download the data directly from the Planet API
For PlanetScope and RapidEye, each user will be allocated a 5 million sq. km. quota. Furthermore, PlanetScope data will only be available 30 days after the acquisition. However, exceptions to both conditions can be made based on additional justifications.
The process for requesting and obtaining Planet SkySat data is as follows:
- User will search the data using the SDX
- User will select the data from the search result
- User will request the data (user will be asked to login using the Earthdata Login)
- Reviewer will review the request including verifying the user for data access
- If the request is denied, a notification will be sent requesting additional information
- If the request is approved, the user will be notified with a data download URL via email
The process for requesting and obtaining Spire data products is as follows:
- User searchs the data using the SDX.
- User selects the data from the search result.
- User requests the data (user will be asked to login using the Earthdata Login).
- Reviewer will review the request including verifying the user for data access.
- If the request is denied, a notification will be sent requesting additional information.
- If the request is approved, the user will be sent a data download URL via email.
Please see the Spire CSDA Data FAQ (PDF) for additional information.
The process for requesting and obtaining any Maxar data products is specified in more detail at NASA's NGA Commercial Archive.
The process for requesting and obtaining DESIS data is as follows:
- User will contact CSDA to request an account
- CSDA will send EULA information to the requesting user
- After acceptance of EULA, user will receive email from Teledyne Brown Engineering with instructions to create an account at the TCloudHost
- User will search data using the TCloudHost
- User will request data using the TCloudHost
- A data download URL will be sent to the user via email
Please see the MUSES-DESIS World-Wide Assessment chart (PDF) for more information.
For Planet, Spire, and Teledyne Brown Engineering data users: authorized users of the data should send a courtesy copy of the publication(s) to the vendor.
For Maxar data users: NASA and its related entities shall not publish the data products, or derivatives, or disclose the data products to any third party without the express written permission of the vendor.
Please refer to the vendor specific end user license agreements (EULAs) for more information.
Data distributed by NASA are available under different scientific use licenses and various access portals. Vendor-specific end user license agreements (EULAs) and definitions for each EULA see below.
End User License Agreements
|Vendor||Data Available||Date Range||Who is authorized to use the data||Scientific use only||3rd party publication requires permission||Where to get archived data||Can PIs submit new orders||EULA|
|NASA (funded) researchers||Yes||No*||Planet Explorer||Yes||Planet EULA|
|Spire||GNSS Radio Occulation||9/24/2018 - 12/9/2018;
12/14/2018 - 3/8/2019; 11/1/2019 - onward
|NASA (funded) researchers||
|GNSS Grazing Angle Reflectometry||1/09/2019
-4/18/2019; 11/1/2019 - onward
|Satellite Precise Orbital Determination (POD) and Satellite Attitude||9/24/2018
|Total Electron Content||11/1/2019
|Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe)||WorldView 1||09/18/2007-present||NASA (funded) researchers||Yes||Yes||CAD4NASA||Yes||NextView License|
|Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.||DESIS||11/21/2018
|U.S. Government (funded) researchers||Yes||No*||TCloudHost||Yes||DESIS EULA|
* Principal Investigators should submit publications as a courtesy copy to the vendor.
Scientific use: use by authorized users of the data products pursuant to a NASA-initiated, U.S. Government-funded and/or U.S. Government-peer reviewed investigation established through a NASA Research Announcement or similar public notice of opportunity, and performed for the sole purpose of conducting experiments, evaluation, research, and/or development, including basic and applied research under the NASA Applied Sciences Program. Scientific use is not intended for the development of commercial products or services and does not include activities funded or sponsored by non-governmental organizations or activities outside of NASA.
Derivatives: any addition, improvement, update, modification, translation, transformation, adaptation or derivative work of, or to the data products, which is authored, created or developed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or its related entities, including, without limitation, any reformatting of the data products into a different format or media from which it is delivered and any addition of data, information or other content to the data products.
Users who are interested in accessing data purchased under CSDA are encouraged to use the SDX tool first to verify whether the needed data is already available. All data purchased and future evaluations will be periodically mirrored and made available.
For data that is not already available for download through NASA, users will use the following vendor-specific tools to search and request data:
- Planet Explorer to search and request PlanetScope and RapidEye data.
- DigitalGlobe Discover Tool to search and CAD4NASA to request Maxar data.
- TCloudHost to search and request DESIS data.
As additional commercial small-satellite datasets are evaluated and acquired by NASA, those datasets will also be made available.
All data requests must be approved by CSDA data access managers before downloads will be granted.
U.S. Government-funded researchers can submit requests for satellite imagery to be captured on-demand for specific dates and locations. Currently, such tasking capability is only available for DESIS. DESIS tasking requests need to be approved by CSDA first. Approved requests are submitted to Teledyne Brown Engineering by CSDA. Users will be notified once the tasking data are available to download.
All data purchased by NASA are mirrored in NASA infrastructure for long-term preservation. As part of the mirroring activities, NASA is also extracting metadata to provide a robust search and explore functionality for broader dissemination of the data.
If you have not done so already, please consider subscribing to the SMD mailing list (log in to NSPIRES and check the appropriate boxes under "Account Management" and "Email Subscriptions").
For questions contact CSDA.
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Page Last Updated: Jan 15, 2021 at 3:03 PM EST